The importance of offering multiple shipping options for your eCommerce business: Why giving customers a choice of shipping options can increase sales and customer satisfaction.
Many brands on Shopify and within the eCommerce world struggle with designing their checkout experience. And it is also often times overlooked completely. The checkout is the final location your customer will be on your site. It is also the location many customers abandon their purchase. If you optimize your checkout experience you can decrease cart abandonment and thus, increasing sales.
Table of Contents:
- Common misconceptions in checkout
- Adding multiple lanes for the best experience
- How to increase rate savings in checkout
- Utilizing free shipping to your advantage
- Final thoughts
With eCommerce, customer experience is king. In order to gain a loyal customer it is vital that you create a customer experience that incentives return purchases. A vital section of the customer experience is in the checkout. A good checkout gives the customer the final push to make the purchase.
Common misconceptions in checkout
Amazon has reinvented shipping. Consumers now expect a certain look and feel when purchasing products. A common problem among Shopify users is not tuning their checkout to meet the needs of the consumer.
Here are a few examples of what a poor experience would look like and why.
This example shows a poor checkout shipping experience for multiple reasons. Fist off, consumers don't need to know which carrier they are choosing. It is unnecessary information and wether its from USPS or FedEx, as long as it gets there on time the consumer doesn't care. Many Shopify brands make this mistake and overcomplicate the checkout process with useless information. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. Why would they need to know about "home delivery" compared to "priority mail".
Making the checkout simpler can increase cart conversion and allow for a more pleasurable checkout experience.
Unnecessary shipping lanes and prices
In this example cart we can see four lanes and a free shipping lane. But, we see that three of these lanes are 1 day deliveries and one is 2 day delivery. Customers don't need three different options for single day deliveries.
Offering three 1 day shipping options at different prices is extremely confusing for everyone involved. Why would I pay $34.55 for 1 day shipping when there is another option for $7.77?
You might think, who would do this? But it happens more often than you would think. Sometimes shipping gets overlooked.
Single lane problems
This is another example of a cart that causes checkout experience problems. Only displaying a single lane is often problematic. Not only is this confusing for the customer, it is also not as efficient for the brand.
No displayed arrival dates
When a customer arrives at the checkout they need to know when their package is going to arrive. A common problem among Shopify brands is not displaying this information. Without knowing when to expect the product the customer shipping experience is not as good as it could be. It leaves the customer guessing and creates a barrier of trust between brand and customer.
Now on the side of the brand. They can experience heavy losses from only using a single lane at checkout. Using this example, we see that they are charging $6.99 for shipping anywhere in the US. It what we call a flat rate. But, if I live far enough away from the fulfillment center it will cost them more than that to ship it to me. Thus, giving the brand a shipping loss. Brands also sometimes just leave a single lane with free shipping. This causes an ever bigger shipping loss on every purchase. Enough of these can add up and cause the shipping portion of the customer experience to cost the brand thousands.
Adding Multiple Lanes For The Best Experience
The best way to create a great shipping customer experience is with multiple shipping lanes and creating a more "Amazon-like" experience. As seen below.
This is a great example of what a checkout experience should look like. First off, there are three lanes that start at the cheapest option and lead to the most expensive. Instead of having confusing carrier information you can have three easy to comprehend lanes. Consisting of standard, expedited, and express shipping options.
Accurate Delivery Dates
The next change that helps customers is with delivery dates. When these aren't included you leave the customer guessing on when the product is going to arrive. When you include accurate time ranges you're able to make the checkout about the "when" instead of "how much".
If the consumer wants it quicker they are able and willing to pay the difference and get it to them fast. But, if they don't mind waiting then they can save money with the standard option. Its a win win for the brand and customer.
How to Increase Rate Savings in the Checkout
There are many things you can do in the checkout to make sure you're mitigating shipping losses. One of the most effective is done behind the scenes. It's called Dynamic Rate Shopping. BUKU offers this tool with its IntelliRate software solution.
Dynamically display the lowest delivery rate from the point of origin to the shipment destination. So on every single purchase both you and your customer are getting the lowest rates possible.
Instead of just using a flat rate across the US, with Dynamic Rate Shopping.
The software is able to filter through multiple carriers based on: shipping origin, package destination and delivery date. After this it displays the lowest rate available to you in the checkout. Start saving with Dynamic Rate Shopping.
Utilizing Free Shipping To Your Advantage
Free shipping, used strategically, can be extremely beneficial to your brand. Another part of creating an "Amazon-Like" checkout is giving your customers the option for free shipping. But there are cleaver ways you can do this to increase sales and to avoid taking large shipping losses.
Using a checkout similar to this one creates an instant shipping loss for your brand. In any industry it is vital to increase profit margins. And taking a large loss on every purchase does the exact opposite.
There are many ways to go about incentives like free shipping. One way to increase savings as well as sales is with a free shipping threshold.
Displaying the incentive on the main page is a great way to catch the attention of customers. The tricky part of offering a free shipping threshold is making sure it's not too high or too low. You need to find the right price for what you're selling. If its too low then everyone will get it. And if it is too high then no one will buy sufficient products to reach it.
In eCommerce there are very smart ways to use free shipping to your advantage. Avoid taking losses by acting strategically.
The checkout experience is pivotal for the customers. Brands that work on creating a more "Amazon-like" experience can expect to see more cart conversion, more sales and create a more loyal customer base.
Avoid common problems like single shipping lane, confusing lane/carrier information, and a lack of delivery dates.
Instead make sure your checkout includes:
- Multiple lanes
- Dynamic rate shopping
- Accurate delivery dates
- Clean and organized shipping lanes
- Free shipping incentives
Creating a good shipping customer experience has a big part in the checkout. Increase cart conversion, sales, and customer loyalty by following these tips!
BUKU specializes in the checkout and shipping customer experience. To easily include all of these features in your cart download our Shopify App today!